LA County urges boosters as 1,336 new COVID-19 infections reported

Los Angeles County reported more than 1,300 new COVID-19 infections on Friday, Oct. 7, along with 11 more deaths, amid a continued call for residents to receive booster shots designed to fend off current variants of thevirus.

The  new cases reported Friday gave the county a cumulative total of 3,464,157 from throughout the pandemic. The 11 fatalities lifted the county’s overall virus-related death toll to 33,740.

Daily case numbers reported by the county have been steadily falling for weeks, although health officials have conceded that the official figures could be misleading due to residents primarily using at-home tests that aren’treported to the county.

As of Friday, the average seven-day rate of people testing positive for the virus in the county was 4.6%.

According to state figures, there were 500 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Friday, down from 516 on Wednesday. Of those patients, 63 were being treated in intensive care, down from 66 a day earlier.

COVID hospitalizations numbers have been generally declining over the past few months, reflecting overall decreases in virus transmission in the county. In mid-July, there were more than 1,300 virus-positive patients incounty hospitals.

County officials have said that roughly 40% of those patients were admitted specifically for COVID, while the others were hospitalized for other reasons but tested positive upon admission.

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer again Friday urged residents to take advantage of new COVID-19 booster shots, noting that they are specifically engineered to combat Omicron variants of the virus, which are themost common in circulation. She also noted that protection residents got with the original series of shots is likely waning, raising their risk of infection and more severe illness.

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“While the original vaccines do continue to provide significant protection against severe illness and death, it is important to know that these early vaccines may provide less protection against the transmission of the virus,” Ferrer said in a statement Friday.

“For the county’s vulnerable residents who are 65 and older, it is especially important to get the new, updated fall booster. Keeping older and more vulnerable residents safe also means testing before gathering indoors and staying away if we are sick. With the cooler weather and fall holidays, many more of us will be staying indoors, gathering with others, or traveling, so it is still practical to follow all health safety measures.”